In amongst the fight against meningitis in third world countries, medical researchers have stated that a key sample vaccine can be transported or stored for up to four days without refrigeration. After this threshold time period samples cold storage is required.
The vaccine is now aimed at helping countries in the “Meningitis Belt,” which encompasses Senegal through to Ethiopia, where deadly infections are a regular occurrence. Meningitis A is an often fatal bacterial infection that affects the membrane of the brain. It has been known to cause brain lesions and has a 50% fatality rate when left untreated according to research.
Resources in these ‘Meningitis belt’ countries are particularly scarce; electricity is often considered a luxury. This means that cold storage of samples is a very difficult task in these countries and it is often difficult to maintain regulation and laws regarding safe storage of vaccines which are particularly stringent.
The drug is called MenAfriVac which have been made by Indian company Serum institute. The cost per dosage is 50 cents and according to the latest study, the vaccine can be stored without refrigeration, even an icepack, at temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius, for 4 days.
Dr Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda gates foundation, stated that “reaching the millions of children in last mile communities like those in rural Africa continues to challenge us.”
Michel Zaffran, director of a non-profit collaboration with the WHO aimed at improving immunization systems and technologies. “The potential for some vaccines to remain safely outside the cold chain for short periods of time has been widely known for over 20 years.”
Although these vaccines can be stored for 4 days, cold storage is always advised if the facilities allow. Samples can be kept fresher for longer and be more useful if the stored in a cool environment.
The storage of pharmaceutical items within a temperature controlled environment is of paramount importance, especially if the user relies on daily injections and pills to maintain good health. Keeping samples in cold storage for the longest possible time should always be the aim to avoid serious risk and health issues.
CRS UK offer samples cold storage facilities for vaccines and other pharmaceutical equipment. CRS have supported African countries with pharmaceutical supplies and continue to support African hospital charities.
CRS offer temperature controlled storage for hire, lease or purchase. The samples cold storage solutions are also mobile meaning they can be easily transported across different areas. For more information about temperature controlled storage please visit CRS Cold Storage.